by on May 31, 2012 at 7:30 am in Games | Permalink

Tyler’s twitter account was hacked yesterday for the most pedestrian of motives:

An amazing new weight loss product! It worked for me and I didnt even change my diet! [link redacted]
— tylercowen (@tylercowen) May 31, 2012

Justin Wolfers tweeted that this was rather unimaginative and following a challenge from Eric Crampton at Offsetting Behaviour a new meme was born, #tylertweets. First the honorable mentions:

Although gas station tacos are generally excellent you should never get carnitas at a gas station that has clean squeegee water #tylertweets
—  Gabriel Rossman ‏@GabrielRossman

#tylertweets New in my pile: “50 Shades of Grey”. Self-recommending.
—  Robert Guico ‏@lpangelrob

@ModeledBehavior truly rose to the challenge:

Its hard to imagine spoons will exist in their current form in 30 years. What does this tell us about the social discount rate? #tylertweets
— Modeled Behavior (@ModeledBehavior)

Given what we know about the money illusion, should the moon be destroyed or doubled? The answer is not clear to me. #tylertweets
— Modeled Behavior (@ModeledBehavior)

#tylertweets cannibalism is wrong, but not for the reasons it’s critics say. We ignore the wisdom of cannibals at our peril.
— Modeled Behavior (@ModeledBehavior)

#tylertweets careful viewers will note Big Momma’s House 3 is biting satire of modern central banking. Most underappreciated drama of 2011?
— Modeled Behavior (@ModeledBehavior)

Corey May 31, 2012 at 7:42 am

Most of these are really funny.

Jeff May 31, 2012 at 7:55 am

+1, especially ModeledBehavior

Demosthenes May 31, 2012 at 11:26 am

Shit is hilarious.

Frank May 31, 2012 at 11:46 am

I’m glad I finished breakfast before reading this post.

msgkings May 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Credit to Tyler for laughing along

Ahmed May 31, 2012 at 7:56 am

I would have never guessed that Tyler’s Twitter account was hacked.

Michael G Heller May 31, 2012 at 8:20 am

I’m very sorry to hear that. Missed the comic drama because — much as I enjoyed them — last night I delisted Tyler and ModeledBehavior from my Following list in order to focus purely on my own tweets.

msgkings May 31, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Thereby completely encapsulating the primary function of Twitter: outlet for narcissists

Michael G Heller May 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Like Krugman I prefer the term ‘ideologue’. Is the message not loud enough?

msgkings May 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Classic narcissist, always thinking others care what they prefer.


Michael G Heller May 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm

There are psychologists, among whom Simon Baron-Cohen, who’ve written about narcissism as a virtual opposite of empathy. As Baron-Cohen points out in his good book Zero Degrees of Empathy, reduced empathy — deliberate or involuntary — is no obstacle to doing a good day’s work and may in fact be an enormous advantage for achieving successful goal-orientation.

Tyler wrote a book on the subject (now called Infovore). It praised the possibilities for intersection between positive psychology and the new “unpretentious” technologies such as twitter. I guess you do admire Tyler otherwise you wouldn’t be here. Here is a little of what he said:

On twitter: “The pressure on the content is defused deliberately. It’s supposed to be content that you wouldn’t bother sharing with most people. Tweets are supposed to be extremely ordinary and everything about the medium pushes you in that direction. Twitter allows you to build intimacy with one group of people but not another. Or sometimes a reader — a perfect stranger — may want to see what your shortest thoughts are really like; maybe it’s a test of how interesting you really are… Mastering some small bits can give you a richer, bigger perspective on the world…”

I’m testing twitter. As I said, I have an ideological agenda to pursue. But I’ve also been using it as another technology for keeping track of things I read and my reactions to them. If I don’t build readership and make myself useful I might let go. How does one build readership? Making elephant noise like here and now might speed it up (the old adage about publicity) or have the reverse effect. Why, by the way, do you write anonymously? Are you revealing to us a deep-seated psychological trait such as insufficient confidence to face your id and your ego?

You could be interested in my blog on the false consciousness of liberal intellectual types.


You’ll at least learn about the possibility that ego, ambition, the quest for fame and power, are neutral with respect to ideology and profession.

Andrew' May 31, 2012 at 8:22 am

The smarter you are the easier it is to pass the Turing test?

AC May 31, 2012 at 8:25 am

Funny, but I had to stop following ModeledBehavior, they never shut up

Andrew L May 31, 2012 at 8:38 am

GabrielRossman was my favorite. #signaling

anon May 31, 2012 at 8:42 am

Yes, Tyler certainly is full of crap.

Mark May 31, 2012 at 8:49 am

Good god Karl’s tweets are funny.

IVV May 31, 2012 at 8:51 am

Oh Karl, Karl, Karl…

You’re an insanely clever man, and I love your work with data, but you really need to re-learn the “its vs. it’s” distinction.

his, her, its.

he’s, she’s, it’s.

Ricardo May 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Shout it from the rooftops!

careless June 1, 2012 at 12:36 am

And here’s the point where this post/thread resulted in me waking my wife by laughing. Not usually a problem reading MR in bed.

russ' dentist May 31, 2012 at 8:57 am

Sentences to ponder: “Apple refuses to manufacture edible iPads.” For the pointer i thank the great stagnation.

Mario Rizzo May 31, 2012 at 9:01 am

You should not be tweeting at all.

Michael G Heller May 31, 2012 at 10:17 am

I’ll tweet that !

Stuart Buck May 31, 2012 at 9:18 am
J May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am

The weight loss one was the funniest.

IVV May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am

What makes it funny is that I can’t seriously imagine Tyler ever saying, “I didn’t even change my diet!”

Brian Donohue May 31, 2012 at 10:52 am


/slow clap

TallDave May 31, 2012 at 11:56 am

I think it’s a little unfair to not tell us what the amazing new weight-loss product was.

RR May 31, 2012 at 11:57 am

Twitter just seems to be a case of lot of tweet for twaat.

Thor May 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Yes. And I thought Facebook was narcissistic and annoying.

Anon. May 31, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Markets in everything the culture that is America there is no great stagnation: dragon capsule completes its mission successfully.

So Much For Subtlety May 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I have not read the Great Stagnation and some of the finer details escape me, but isn’t this proof that it is happening?

A billionaire invests a lot of money to do what the Soviets could do 50 years ago, what NASA could do sixty years ago for that matter? Doesn’t that show that the big innovation was done sometime around 1939-1960 and that what we have is marginal improvement? Not much of an improvement either.

Would this ever happened but for public sector incompetence? I think not. So no real improvement in anything much so far. Just the benefits of rent seeking from doing what the Feds no longer can.

IVV June 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

Ironically, the weight-loss aid was also called a “dragon capsule.”

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